EMT Rodeo 2016

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Emergency Medical Technicians gathered to compete in the 9th annual Air Force Medical Service EMT Rodeo at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Aug. 24-27.

The two-and-a-half day competition involved 24 EMT teams from across the Air Force challenging one another for the title of the “Best of the Best” emergency medical teams. Each team consisted of four Airmen who were scored collectively on their timeliness, technique and accurate decision making during multiple high-stress emergency scenarios both in-garrison and in a simulated deployed environment.

“The EMT Rodeo was designed to focus on those critical skills personified in our Aerospace Medical Technicians,” said Lt. Col. Derek Larbie, commander of the 27th Special Operations Aerospace Medicine Squadron and EMT Rodeo project officer.

The EMT Rodeo began as a small base-wide competition among Cannon medics in 2007. The competition steadily grew and in 2009, bases from across the Air Force were invited to compete.

“In events like these, aspiring technicians prepare year-round for this Air Force-level competition,” said Staff Sgt. Carol Hubbard, EMT Rodeo project NCOIC. “Competitions such as these give our Airmen an opportunity to demonstrate their skills while at the same time up-keeping their proficiency should they have to utilize their skills for a real-world situation at their home station.”

The Melrose Air Force Range (MAFR) was first incorporated into the competition in 2015. MAFR is an air-to-ground training site located 25 miles west of Cannon AFB and spans approximately 70,000 acres. In 2016, the EMT Rodeo planning committee increased the ranges role with a total of six scenarios, in a simulated deployed environment consisting of opposing forces, simulated smell of smoke grenades, ground-burst simulators, gunfire and much more.

“The rodeo demonstrated the importance of our medics and tested their capacity to deliver emergency medical treatment in a high-stress environment, with the overall expectation of enhancing emergency medical preparedness in theater and in-garrison,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Ediger, Air Force Surgeon General.

For the first time in rodeo history, teams were airlifted to the range in a CV-22 Osprey from Cannon AFB, adding more realism and an opportunity for the EMTs to experience Air Force combat capabilities. At Cannon AFB, there were 17 scenarios medics had to navigate to demonstrate their skills.

Now in its ninth consecutive year, the competition continues to grow and talented medics from across the Air Force show off their unique emergency medicine capabilities.

“The second that we all found out who our team was, we exchanged numbers and would meet up to improve various skills,” said Airman 1st Class Allison Malaska, 86th Medical Group EMT from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. “We talked a lot about what we expected of each other and our plan of attack. Our expectations were to create an awesome bond and we did. That helped when we came out here and did the best we could.”

Every medic that participated in the competition garnered approximately half of their annual requirements toward their national registry certification and EMT licensure.

Col. John Mammano, commander of the 27th Special Operations Medical Group and host of the 2016 AFMS EMT Rodeo, said the event overall was a complete success. He said he was extremely proud of all the medics participating in the competition as well as his entire staff for their dedication and hard work putting the Rodeo together, exceeding all expectations.

After a grueling competition, the team from Eglin AFB, Fla., finished in first place, receiving a perfect score on the Commando Challenge - a scenario testing the physical and mental limits of the team in a simulated deployed location. Offutt AFB, Neb., finished in second place and Shaw AFB, S.C., finished third.